Madera County DA's office working to stop political corruption

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- In Madera County the District Attorney is taking a new approach to stop political corruption.

Captain Paul Hornick has worked with the army's jag corps, the secret service, and homeland security, but now he's taking on a new role as head of Madera County's Political Corruption Unit.

Captain Hornick explained, "People see money coming out of their paychecks being sent and used for these government offices and agencies, and when there's a general feeling the money is being used an improper way or that folks are doing not the right thing, is a simple way to say it, people become resentful and distrustful in government, and that's dangerous."

District attorney David Linn says he decided to form the unit as soon as he was elected.

Linn said, "I wanted to create an avenue for transparency where the government could talk to the people and the people could talk to the government to say hey, why did you do that?"

But he fast tracked the process after a recent board of supervisors meeting where questions arose over a money transfer.

"What I was concerned about, as was the auditor controller, was the transfer of 18-thousand dollars from the county general fund to a special water district in the ranchos," said Linn.

Linn says after research and discussions, he no longer believes that move was illegal, but it was just the first of many inquiries.

"The phones are ringing off the hook," said Linn. "We're getting questions and concerns involving school boards, special districts, county board of supervisors, and county departments, all of which we will look into."

Hornick says he's even been told to investigate the DA's office itself if necessary. "If folks are found to be doing the wrong thing, we will look into it, and we will take action."

Both men said they don't believe corruption is worse in Madera County than anywhere else, and they pointed out Fresno County also has a similar unit.

Anyone who would like to make a complaint can call the main number for the Madera County District Attorney's Office and ask for Captain Paul Hornick.

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